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The Catch


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About the Author

GARY MYERS started covering the NFL in 1978 and was in the press box at Candlestick Park for The Catch on January 10, 1982, as the beat writer covering the Cowboys for the Dallas Morning News. In 1989, he not only joined the New York Daily News, but also began a thirteen-season run as the inside information reporter for HBO's popular Inside the NFL. Myers has also hosted the YES Network's This Week in Football since 2002. /i> i>From the Hardcover edition.


In the 1970s, the San Francisco 49ers went to the playoffs three times and each time were defeated by the Dallas Cowboys, who ended up going to the Super Bowl five times in that decade. Those franchise trends reversed on January 10, 1982, when quarterback Joe Montana led San Francisco on an 89-yard game-winning touchdown drive against Dallas in the closing minutes of the NFC Championship game. That drive culminated with a high pass at the back of the end zone that 49er receiver Dwight Clark leaped to grab by his fingertips; both the play and the game immediately became known as The Catch. Myers re-creates that legendary game and explores its effect on the league, teams, coaches, and principal players. Featured are great players like Montana and Tony Dorsett, Hall of Fame coaches Bill Walsh and Tom Landry, and the ever-popular Cowboys and 49ers. Verdict Having covered the game for the Dallas Morning News, Myers has insider knowledge that gives depth to the interviews he conducted for this book. Although his narrative jumps around at times, on the whole this will be welcomed by all football fans.-John Maxymuk, Rutgers Univ. Lib., Camden, NJ Copyright 2009 Reed Business Information.

From Publishers Weekly
The Catch: One Play, Two Dynasties, and the Game That Changed the NFL

"Looking at a single, spectacular play from 17 years ago, long-time sportswriter and commentator Myers extracts a graceful examination of the National Football League, and the legends it created. In January, 1982, San Francisco 49ers quarterback Joe Montana threw a high pass to Dwight Clark in a contentious game against the Dallas Cowboys. Clark's catch--a stunning, stratospheric leap--led to the team's victory, their subsequent Super Bowl trajectory and a number of on- and off-the-field careers; it also reversed the fortunes of two franchises. Myers covers the locker rooms, the front offices, and the lives of varied participants--brilliant coaches Tom Landry and Bill Walsh, assistants, owners, rookies, old-timers and others swirling around the leads, who first met at a lunch counter: "This was the start of [Clark's] professional career: dinner at HoJo's. For all Clark knew, it would be the highlight." A resonant look back at a defining moment for fans of both teams ("Montana always heard from Cowboys fans how he broke their hearts with that pass"), this is also an involving story of the characters and traditions upon which the NFL is built."


"Gary Myers captures one of the most exciting, interesting, and pivotal games in NFL history. The '81 NFC Championship Game had everything that makes football America's most popular sport. It was that rare game that became worthy of its own title by virtue of one spectacular play -- The Catch. But it was a game about far more than one play. The poignant stories of what happened to the heroes of the game elevate the book into a tale about the human spirit. This is a great slice of NFL history and a story well worth reading."
--Roger Goodell, NFL Commissioner

"Gary Myers has captured the story behind the story of the game that started the 49er dynasty of the 80s. Nobody understands the significance of that game more than I do. Joe Montana and Bill Walsh beat us twice in Super Bowls during the 80s, including that year. I want to thank Gary for opening old wounds. Back to the therapist I go."
--Cris Collinsworth, former All Pro Bengals great and commentator for Sunday Night Football

"Gary Myers brought back so many great memories for me in The Catch. Reading it was like taking a step back to some of the greatest years of my life. Story after story, it gave me chills and let me re-live how awesome the season of '81 was for the San Francisco 49ers and our fans. There's not a day that goes by when someone doesn't ask me about that play. The Catch allowed me to enjoy the memory of that moment in elaborate detail."
--Dwight Clark, former All Pro 49er and on the receiving end of The Catch

"Gary Myers brought me right back to The Catch game. It's one of those games that I will remember where I was when it happened. It was really the first time you held Joe Montana with such reverence, Bill Walsh first became a genius, the 49ers began a dynasty and the end began for Tom Landry. Gary Myers took me back to Candlestick Park and allowed me to relive such great memories of Montana throwing the ball, Ed Jones looming in front of him and Dwight Clark making an impossible leap. This is a book that will stick with you forever."
--Pat Summerall, legendary football announcer

"Gary Myers has always been uncompromising when it comes to getting things right. And in The Catch, he's once again spot-on in capturing the essence, flavor, and magnitude of one of the most compelling and dramatic games in NFL history. All in all, its perspective on how one game altered the paths of two storied franchises and the sport itself, so richly told, makes The Catch a terrific read."
--Al Michaels, NBC

"Standing on the sidelines when Joe Montana connected with Dwight Clark for The Catch, I knew right away this was a special game. What nobody could have guessed is that the 1981 NFC Championship game was about to turn the NFL sideways. What Gary Myers brings to life are the characters at Candlestick Park that day, so many of them still so familiar almost thirty years later. But many of their stories have been far from familiar . . . until now. A watershed game becomes even more momentous!"
--Chris Berman, ESPN

From the Hardcover edition.

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